I work with a lot of freelancers and one thing that has become abundantly clear is that at some point and time we have all felt like a lonely, isolated freelancer. I was moved to post this after reading my devotional email this morning because it made me think about how I can incorporate my beliefs into my business and nurture fruitful business relationships that help build all of us freelancers up. Let’s get started.
Overcome Your Lonely Isolated Freelancer Feelings
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, NIV
If you’re a freelancer, I don’t want you to feel like you are all alone or that you have no one. I am one of many that can help you up whenever you fall down.
You’re not alone and you don’t have to feel like you are just because you are a freelancer. I understand what you’re going through because I can pretty much guarantee, I have been there. Staying positive during the famine side of the feast or famine freelancing rollercoaster isn’t easy. Feeling like you are alone or are the only one going through whatever you are going through is quite normal for any freelancer. Freelancing can be very difficult.
Thankfully, there are many actions you can take to keep from feeling lonely and isolated because you are a freelancer. One of the best ways to protect your mental well being as a freelancer is to have an arsenal of actions at your disposal. Freelancing doesn’t have to be lonely and be isolating. Having another like-minded individual or group to network with can be integral to your success.
5 Fast Fix It Solutions for the Lonely Isolated Freelancer
- Surround Yourself with Comfort
Sometimes it is the simplicity of a neat and clean desk, pictures of the people you care about only a glance away, or the heat melted aroma of a favorite scent. Or perhaps it is a new stand-up desk or a high-tech office chair. Surrounding yourself with comfortable things and creating an ideal home office can be critical for productivity and mental well-being.
My office is located in a front room with a large window that faces the street. With a quick glance up, I can see the hustle and bustle of activity in my neighborhood.
- Work Remotely
You might notice that after a few weeks of working from home you are shocked to realize you aren’t going out as much as you used to. There’s a relatively easy way to change this. As a freelancer, it is very easy to ensure that the work you do can be done from anywhere. Having this luxury can allow you to try scheduling a work day from another remote location other than your home! Internet Cafés were made for this and often have free Wi-Fi and ample electrical outlets. Realistically, there aren’t many Coffee shops that are void of freelancers these days.
When I first began my freelance business, I scheduled one day a week that I would work remotely from a local Coffee shop. To this day, I’m known to collect a few free rewards as a frequent buyer and still know many of the shop employees and their regulars. Some of whom are either friends or clients!
- Join and Participate in Chat Groups
Maybe you miss office banter with colleagues in a traditional office setting. If that is the case, try joining an active Slack group. Slack is a cloud-based set of team collaboration tools and services, including channels that are used as chat rooms. By default, slack groups come with 2 channels – one of which is a random channel typically used for non-work related banter chatting.
One of my favorite channels in the OwnWP Slack Group is the “water-cooler” channel! And if you feel like you don’t have the opportunity to share any of your frustrations with others, there are channels for that too – “rant”. OwnWP Slack channel is specifically designed for like-minded freelance WordPress web designers and developers as a place to network and collaborate any resources needed to help them with their clients.
- Attend Interactive Online or In-person Events
Online live and live in-person training events provide a great opportunity to connect with others since you’ll automatically have something in common. Of course, nothing beats an in-person meetup but that is not always possible for new freelancers. In-person events often require travel, lodging, or a ticket purchase to attend. With today’s technologies, live webinars are abundantly available and online live events often provide web-cam or screen sharing features that can offer nearly the same experience as an in-person meetup.
I find the most value from the educational webinars that are live (not pre-recorded), free to attend – or part of a membership I belong to – and promote an interactive chat during the event like the OwnWP, WPStudio, and some of the iThemes live training events. The interactive chat allows conversations between attendees, as well as the ability for everyone to see (and answer) questions asked during the webinar.
- Join an Accountability or MasterMind Group
You have to be very disciplined to get things done and stay on task as a freelancer because it’s very easy to get distracted. Having an online Accountability or Mastermind group can help you become more productive and build some strong new business relationships. An accountability group is a group of 2 or more people that check in and report with each on a regular basis (typically once a week). A mastermind group is a peer-to-peer mentoring concept used to solve problems with input and advice from the other group members. Either of these types of groups can meet in person, online, via email, or any methods that will work for the group.
Our mastermind group generated strong business relationships that lead to being able to build out a team of freelancers. We’ve even managed a couple of in-person gatherings over the years even though we all live in completely different areas of the country! I’ve also recently been thinking about starting a few new groups, so let me know if you’re interested.
- Surround Yourself with Comfort
The Truth Is You Are Not The Only Lonely Isolated Freelancer
Remember there are millions of other freelancers in the world and we ALL have felt the same way you do at some point and time. Know that you are not the only lonely isolated freelancer – you are NOT alone.
I am here to tell you that today I am committing to pushing people up. I am choosing to speak life and call forth the seeds of greatness from within. God willing, I will help other freelancers to fulfill their destiny. I would love to have you join me on my journey. Let’s help each other up when we fall down.